David Samuel Paul Bodnaruk of Keremeos, BC, passed away suddenly in his home on October 14, at the age of 62 years. A beloved brother, uncle, cousin, and friend, David’s unexpected departure from this Earth and our lives, leaves us feeling profoundly lost but forever grateful to have had experienced his time with us.
He was born in Chicago, Illinois on December 4, 1957 to Anne and Michael Bodnaruk who shortly after, moved back to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Summers spent in Swan River, Manitoba at his Grandma & Grandpa Doroshuk’s farm is where David began to get in tune with nature. After the family moved to Penticton, BC, David would often bring home fish, wild mushrooms and berries to his Mom to clean. For a while, he pursued the life we are expected to. He got married young, and then divorced. He worked at occupations that would later serve him well in the many wild foraging adventures and misadventures he went on. Heavy equipment operating, road construction and paving, landscaping (he even had his own business for a while - Done Right Landscaping), house construction, repairing farm machinery and orchard work. But, by age 36, he had dealt with severe back problems and spine disease and pain had affected all aspects of his life. He was not able to work from that point and settled in Keremeos, where he lived in the same house for the rest of his life. It was then that he began to explore in earnest, his love of mushroom picking.
David was well known for his knowledge of mycology, the world of mushroom picking and wildcrafting. He mentored many, sharing what he had learned. He was able to sell what he picked, which often showed up in fine restaurants from Saskatchewan through BC. He had many stories of surviving through vehicle breakdowns and other mishaps, aided by his incredible resourcefulness at piecing together whatever he needed, from what was at hand. Wildcrafting provided David with the extra income he needed to survive, but it also gave him what he really needed – healing time in the forests, in nature, and time alone.
In his time alone, he was an avid reader and podcast listener, with CBC’s Science Friday amongst his favourites. When he couldn’t be out foraging, he loved to work in his yard and garden, which was also a place of mystery and wild beauty. David was also very artistic and in earlier days had some of his wood and stone carvings in galleries. He loved his guitars and playing alone, or with friends, at his table, or campground and occasionally performing. He always had a dog by his side, with Pippy being his last to outlive him.
Well before it was accepted, David cultivated a knowledge and understanding of cannabis. He shared this knowledge as well and many people benefited from its healing properties.
But perhaps what he is best known and loved for is his open, empathetic heart, his love of laughter, his hospitality to all who walked into the world of his home. He gave away the shirt off his back, his last $20, his precious time, his space, whether in pain or not. He was there for the most vulnerable in society, as well as his family and friends.
David leaves behind his sisters, Grace MacLennan and Sharon(John) Lusch, nieces Mallory(Marshall) Banting and Mahkaila Lusch, nephew Scott MacLennan, brother-in-law Ian MacLennan and family from the Doroshuk’s and Bodnaruk’s, as well as Shawn Moses, son of long-time companion Lorraine Moses who predeceased him. He was great Uncle to Malcolm, Norah and Lilly Banting. He was predeceased by his parents Michael and Anne Bodnaruk.
David’s Celebration of Life will be held late spring in 2021 at a date to be determined. Family and friends may pay their respects at a viewing on Friday, October 30, from 2 – 4 p.m. at Kettle Valley Memorial, 461 Dawson Ave, Penticton, BC. Cremation to follow.
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